picture by Silvia Susanna

picture by Falko Matte

picture by Falko Matte

picture by Silvia Susanna

picture by Anton Cordes

diffractive windows

tracing the material entanglement of the Saalecker Workshop, Germany through the practice of framing and being framed.

The project originates from a reflection on the labels 'Zedler-Restaurierung' found throughout the Saalecker Workshop—the first project of the Nazi ideologist Paul Schultze-Naumburg and location for several meetings of prominent National Socialists, including Hitler.

The 'Zedler-Restaurierung' are 5x5 cm paper labels affixed to every material in each room that serve as a testament to the currently authorized preservation discourse (AHD)1. After being designated as a national monument in 1995, a specific material investigation on the building became mandatory. Therefore, any formal changes interfering with Schultze-Naumburg's last implementation required permission from the State Office for Monument Preservation.

What is the relation between the materialization of the racial ideology of Paul Schultze-Naumburg and the current knowledge of cultural heritage? Who is validating a cultural value and according to which criteria? Who earns a place in the chronicles of cultural heritage and for what reasons? Whose narratives are acknowledged, remembered, and endured in the national collective memory while others fade into obscurity?

The project materialized after a series of conversations I had with the inhabitants of Saaleck, on-site and online research, and material investigation of the Saalecker Workshop.

The project revolves around three different diffractive windows.
1st / At the second room on the left side of the second floor. A series of projected pictures of the Saalecker Workshop portraying every day life moments of people inhabiting the place during the GDR period when the building was reused and re-activated as an elderly center. The slide-show is in front the 'Zedler-Restaurierung' label of the entrance. 
2nd / On the left side of the second floor, in the first room, I have identified an accumulation of visible time-space mattering achieved through the  stratification of various materials over the years. Using black tape, I have outlined a frame and within it, affixed a series of letters. Each letter corresponds to a legend, strategically positioned to compel the observer to enter in the taped area for reading. Each letter in the legend is associated with a specific year, a material description and a crucial event that occurred in that year. The legend proposes a time-material-mattering.
3rd / On capital of the stairs’ column, where there is only a tape frame with no legend. At this point, the observer has no hints.

These three frames define what I name diffractive windows (the projected photos, the big taped area with a legend, and taped capital)2 The project aims to go off the established preservation protocols and open up possible time-material-mattering frameworks that crossover facts, events, and materials for collectively delving into the process of validating the value, the relationship between the evaluator and the value, and the possible positions that everyone could take while defining which materials matter and in relation to which narrative.

The diffractive windows are not meant to be an alternative to established preservation approaches but rather a frame to stress the relationship between the object assumed to be preserved and the subject analyzing. The aim was to underline the inseparability of the material and discursive dimensions of reality, as well as the material-discursive nature of boundary-drawing practices and the responsibilities within these power dynamics. Ultimately, the project performed as an invitation to contemplate the epistemological foundations that underpin the narrative surrounding national memories.

(1) Laurajane Smith, The Authorized Heritage Discourse (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006)
(2) "my method is to engage aspects of each in dynamic relationality to the other, being attentive to the iterative production of boundaries, the material-discursive nature of boundary-drawing practices, the constitutive exclusions that are enacted, and questions of accountability and responsibility for the reconfgurings of which we are a part."
Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning  (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007). p. 93.


The project has been assisted by Julius Wolff, developed during the dieDAS fellowship program “Monumental Affair” directed by Germane Barnes. 


un-domesticated homes

in progress | audio-cartography
developed within DAAS academy, decolonising Architecture Advanced Studies, Stockholm

un-domesticated homes is a research project that revolves around the aesthetic act of independent and non-commissioned intercultural programs taking place and being produced at home.
Specifically, it aims to disseminate how critical spatial practices grounded at home contribute to expanding forms of cultural production beyond institutions.

To "make kin and not (babies/families/ population)" is to redefine the political agency of the inhabitants in challenging their city, starting from their home. The research project unfolds through a series of audio conversations with the non-commissioned caretakers of these unplanned, precarious, community-driven programs as a way to understand their socio-economical and political contexts, as well as their personal and collective backgrounds, motivations and desires.

The ever-evolving online interactive audio cartography www.undomesticatedhomes.net
aims to disseminate the imaginary of demodern space production through an a-geographical, fluctuant network of discourses grouped in keywords. It does so not for the purpose of anatomizing and theorizing something that I am arguing exists, but in order to investigate and spread architectural knowledge beyond the dominant image-based tradition.

Ultimately, with undomesticatedhomes.net the research proposes to expose architectural topics also via audio experiences as an alternative to the dominant image-based architectural knowledge. The website is an invitation to discover what I call un-domesticated homes through the selection of audio conversations of some caretakers and to envision these space production through the voices of the protagonist of these actions. Each conversation is interconnected with others in terms of discourses or positions, but it also shows up as one of the glimpses of this phenomenon. Therefore, the website is not an archive, or a platform it’s more a growing collection of voices that tells the urge, the desire and the consequences of establishing cultural programs at home and the relative social and political impact in their contexts.

This research has been possible thanks to the collaboration of Tobia and Alina of Casa Punto Croce, Bruno of Casa Gomorra, Israel of Bikini Wax, Giovanni of Casa Sponge, Alvise of 2.73, Jean Lorin of Home Fest and many others.

The research has been intellectually supported by the care and love of Decolonising Architecture Advanced Studies community. 

un-domesticated homes has been presented and exhibited

22-23 May 2022, Ground, Stockholm, SE / ST(R)AY II with Alice Pontiggia, Steffie de Gaetano, Michaela Mikaela Karlsson and Linnea Fröjd / activation III and audio-chartography presentation

20 March 2022, KKH studio gallery, Berlin, DE / ST(R)AY I with Alice Pontiggia, Steffie de Gaetano, Michaela Mikaela Karlsson / activation II

18-23 May 2021, Casa Punto Croce, Venice, IT / Decolonizing Architecture First Year Final Exhibition 2021, un-domesticated homes / activation I

12-13 November 2021, KKH, Stockholm, SE / Rundgång, un-domesticated homes presentation


Home Tours

in progress | agency
with Alessandro Fonte, Ottonie von Roeder,  Anastasia Eggers

Home Tours is a travel agency that offers de-touristic experiences at the traveller’s own home. After asking a few questions about personal idea of a vacation, Home Tours creates a customized tour for each traveler/home: an experience that takes place within the four walls but guides the traveler to unexpected places and trigger exhilarating thoughts, leading to a completely new way of encountering the most known place: home. 

Home Tours is an experimental project by Alessandro Fonte, Anastasia Eggers, Ottonie von Roeder and Silvia Susanna.

The project is supported by Goethe Institut Milan and funded by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony. This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget decided by the Saxon state parliament.

2020 | short-movie

New York: 16th March 2020.
When Covid-19 broke into New York people everyday life normality, as a concept, arose as the condition to return to.
But what we talk about when we talk about normality?
normality shows how the current state of exception is based upon multiple, questionable but established conditions. 
normality aims at reflecting the basic structures and the foundations of what we consider normal.
Eventually, in light of what is now happening and it will happen, normality aims at instigating further argumentation on how we define, establish and apply our idea of normality.

original text / Silvia Susanna
Director of Photography / Silvia Susanna
First Camera Assistant / Simone Montacci
Second Camera Assistant / Gabriele Camilli
Original Music / Giuseppe Canegiallo
Proofreading Subtitles / Sara Aoun, Katia Abi Gerges (fra), Faye Yue (chn), Silvia Susanna (ita)  

completion date: 05.04.2020

presentation / SPAN agency Italy
world premiere / NòtFilmFest Italy
online release / DAMN Magazine Belgium

included in the First Season / Terrarista TV online streaming channel
screening / Avalanche Art Space Massachusetts, USA
honorable mention / Deep Focus Film Festival New York, USA
selection / WēVē TV New York, USA



Home Cultural Home

july 2019 | public event

A debate on the birth, development and goals of specific programs with a cultural vocation, established in inhabited houses and led by its dwellers.

In an extended confrontation between the protagonists of these initiatives and some experts in related fields, the talk aimed at tackling topics like cohabitation with art, the cultural production, the social spaces and everyday life between dwelling and environment and tourism.

The talk aimed at bringing out meanings and values generated by these projects and the consequent spatial, social, cultural, economic and political effects.

Home Cultural Home was part of Demanio Marittimo a summer event dedicated to arts and Architecture curated by Pippo Ciorra e Cristiana Colli

Giovanni Gaggia / Artista, Performer, Fondatore di Casa Sponge (Pergola)
Alvise Giacomazzi / Architetto, Fondatore di 2.73 (Venezia)
Tobia Tomasi / Promotore Culturale, Fondatore di Casa Punto Croce (Venezia, Italia)
Jean Lorin / Ricercatore, scrittore, artista e performer Fondatore di Lorgean Theatre and homemade culture
Alessandro Fonte / Architetto, Artista, Membro di nanotourism
Beatrice Meoni / Artista

event curated by Cristiana Colli e Pippo Ciorra artribune.com